Economic Choices

In case you missed it, Democrat and Chronicle reporter, Brian Sharp wrote an article about research I did about all of the properties in the City worth over $1 million.  Read it here.  Like a good reporter, Brian asked the Mayor for his response to my assertion that we're allowing rich property owners to get away with not paying - or not paying enough - taxes, and that is the reason we have a budget deficit every year.  Not because of City Worker pensions.  

The Mayor's response was pretty typical, that I "missed the point".  Actually, Mr. Mayor, I haven't.  

Sometimes it seems that I spend all of my time on the economics of government and this seems wrong.  It appears to me that economics is really a study of choices.  In your life, every time you spend money on something, there is a myriad of things that you choose not to spend money on. 

In politics the same is true.  Every time our government spends money on something needed, there are numerous other things which will have to wait for funding.  So when I see our government give away a building worth $6.7 million, like theMidtown Tower Mayor and City Council did with Midtown Tower,

I wonder if this is really the best use of this money.  After all, for that kind of money we could keep the mounted patrol, rebuild 100 vacant houses in blighted sections of the city with local labor, provide summer jobs for 500 teenagers, add another recruitment class for the fire department, open a library, open a recreation center, run a late night weekend recreation basketball league, and after all these improvements, have enough left to return fine arts education to all schools. 

Instead, our "representatives" chose to rehab a building to be owned by millionaires and lavished with $30 million of tax breaks over the next 20 years. I know that would not have been MY choice.

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